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Old 01-02-2008, 02:13 AM   #1
lennyTR
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Default Tutorial: How to change your clock to blue, red or whatever color you want

So after reading interior color change threads by Trunk Monkey, Mecchie3 and others, I decided to go ahead and change my interior, starting with my clock first.

Threads I referred to:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1166377

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=690922

Taking some advice from these threads, I think I found a pretty easy way to change the clock using stage lighting gels. Basically all you'll need is: dremel, phillips screwdriver, plastic wedge, crazy glue, stage lighting gel sheet, and a razor blade.

Step 1: Remove the clock from the car

This can be a bitch if you don't have the right tools. You need to use a plastic wedge to remove the piece of the dash that holds the clock, you don't want to scratch it by using the wrong tool. There are four places where the piece of the dash clips into the dash...one at each corner. Choose a side and force the wedge into it, and then gently pry up that side until it pops out. After you've got it out, disconnect the plug from the clock and unscrew both screws that hold the clock to the dash piece.

Step 2: Take apart the clock

Use a pocket screwdriver or something skinny and flat to gently pry the cover piece off of the clock. Don't break the tabs that hold it together.

Tabs are being pointed to in red:


Step 3: Glue piece of stage lighting gel onto clock surface

After you have the cover off of the clock, measure and cut a piece of stage lighting gel with a razor blade, and then glue it onto the clock surface at each corner with a SMALL dab of crazy glue. You don't want glue to go everywhere once you press down the gel piece.





Step 4: Cut out tinted plastic piece that is within the clock cover

This is can be a little tricky, and you must take your time cut it out clean without scratching the rest of the inside of the clock cover. I used my dremel and a small cutting wheel to cut it out.

Red arrows point to where the tinted piece used to be:


Now if you want, you can just stop here and put everything back together and be happy.
For me personally, I still felt that the blue was just not bright enough. So I decided to go a step further and remove a section of the clock cover, and replace it with a clear acrylic piece of some kind.

Step 5: Retrofitting clear acrylic piece into clock cover

This took me a long time because I was being as careful as I could, and I wanted it to look as factory as possible. You can buy the clear acrylic from a couple different places...I bought mine at an arts & crafts store. It's supposed to be used for picture frames, as a replacement piece for the glass cover that goes over the picture. I can't remember the brand.

Anyways here's some more pics. I think they are self-explanatory:









By installing this clear plastic piece, it's a whole lot easier to see the blue numbers during the day. It was kind of tedious to make it work, but all in all I think it was worth it, and it's hard to tell that it's not factory unless you're looking super close.

Hope that helps!

Nate
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Old 01-02-2008, 02:46 AM   #2
Feign
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Nicely done. A little different method but with the same end result.

FWIW, all I have to do is tug on the clock pod using the lip of the thing, then slide my fingers below the unlatched portion, then tug up on that and the whole assembly comes free. Is it worse in the newer models or something?
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Old 01-02-2008, 03:44 AM   #3
lennyTR
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Well yeah it probably should get easier the more times you take it apart, but the dash piece on my '07 was super stiff. I tried to get it out first with just my hands, but it wouldn't budge.
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:48 PM   #4
lennyTR
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Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I used Rosco stage light gels, blue #79.

I like it because it isn't too dark, and because it matches my pioneer head unit.
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Old 01-03-2008, 12:43 AM   #5
06BluePearlStI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lennyTR View Post
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I used Rosco stage light gels, blue #79.

I like it because it isn't too dark, and because it matches my pioneer head unit.

Where can you find these Rosco stage lighting gels...at like a craft store or something or Sam Ash in the dj dpt.?

Looks petty good....want to do mine in red. Just bought stained red glass paint today but the stage gel looks easier IMO.
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Old 01-03-2008, 02:31 AM   #6
williaty
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To get the gel, call whatever theatrical supply store you have in town and tell them you need a gel swatchbook. Doesn't matter what vendor, whatever they're pushing that month works. The swatchbook will be free and contain ~500 swatches. The swatches are large enough for this mod and will serve as reference for ordering gel sheets later.



Yes, being a Lighting Designer from time to time does mean I have some interesting resources for car stuff.
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Old 01-03-2008, 10:38 AM   #7
lennyTR
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I actually bought my stage gels from a theater store on the internet, but getting a swatchbook of 500 different colors sounds like a good idea. And it's free.

BTW, I actually tried red before I glued anything on, and it looked really good.
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:14 PM   #8
06BluePearlStI
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so what exactly gives the clock the oem green color? is it the tint you cut out, or are the actual led's green?


just wondering....
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:44 PM   #9
williaty
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The actual LED's are green. Actually, come to think of it, I don't remember if it's a LED or VFD. Anyway, the ability to change its color is based on the weak emmission in other colors. Filtering the clock will make it substantially dimmer. The real way to do this would be to take the part number for the display and cross-reference it to one in a different color, then swap.
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:06 AM   #10
lennyTR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06BluePearlStI View Post
so what exactly gives the clock the oem green color? is it the tint you cut out, or are the actual led's green?


just wondering....
I plugged my clock in without the cover, and it really isn't a very strong green color...more of a whitish-green/light green color. Something in the tint piece makes it look more green than it really is.
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:08 AM   #11
williaty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lennyTR View Post
I plugged my clock in without the cover, and it really isn't a very strong green color...more of a whitish-green/light green color. Something in the tint piece makes it look more green than it really is.
OK, that's a VFD (not an LED) then. I couldn't remember since it's been so long since I've pissed with one. VFDs have a broader emission spectrum, so they're more able to be filtered. Still going to make it darker.
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:08 AM   #12
lennyTR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty View Post
The actual LED's are green. Actually, come to think of it, I don't remember if it's a LED or VFD. Anyway, the ability to change its color is based on the weak emmission in other colors. Filtering the clock will make it substantially dimmer. The real way to do this would be to take the part number for the display and cross-reference it to one in a different color, then swap.
If you mean 'filtering' as in covering the clock with a stage gel piece, honestly dude it doesn't dim it that much. In fact, I think my clock is just as bright as stock since I removed that tint piece.
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:17 AM   #13
williaty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lennyTR View Post
If you mean 'filtering' as in covering the clock with a stage gel piece, honestly dude it doesn't dim it that much. In fact, I think my clock is just as bright as stock since I removed that tint piece.
That's why.
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Old 01-04-2008, 01:22 AM   #14
lennyTR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty View Post
OK, that's a VFD (not an LED) then. I couldn't remember since it's been so long since I've pissed with one. VFDs have a broader emission spectrum, so they're more able to be filtered. Still going to make it darker.
Well, I think the important info in all this, for those who might consider doing this mod, is that they won't sacrifice the clock's brightness with stage gels, as long as they remove the inner tint piece that sits in the clock cover. The inner tint piece and a stage gel accomplish the same thing...they both filter the light that is produced by the clock. Installing a stage gel over the clock means you need to remove that tint piece so that you don't have two layers filtering the clock.
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Old 01-04-2008, 01:33 AM   #15
williaty
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Yes, that's exactly why I bolded the bit about removing the existing tinted bit when I quoted you.
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Old 01-04-2008, 03:00 PM   #16
06BluePearlStI
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So do you guys think this will work with the radio face as well or no....stage gel right over the green tint


got me thinkin now.....
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Old 01-04-2008, 09:12 PM   #17
lennyTR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06BluePearlStI View Post
So do you guys think this will work with the radio face as well or no....stage gel right over the green tint


got me thinkin now.....
I'm not really sure to be honest...as you can see in the pic I don't have my stock radio anymore. Where is the green tint located in the radio?
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:11 PM   #18
06BluePearlStI
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on the inner piece of the radio face plate, but the tint is on both sides i think, so i might be able to get stage gel on one side, but not the outer....it's hard to explain
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:06 PM   #19
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looks cool at night, but sorry kinda cheezy with the face hacked up. what would it look like with the tinted piece still there and the gel just behind it?
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:19 PM   #20
lennyTR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdubya301 View Post
looks cool at night, but sorry kinda cheezy with the face hacked up. what would it look like with the tinted piece still there and the gel just behind it?

For me it was too dark still. That's why I installed the clear piece in the cover.

If you had no idea that I had messed with the clock, you probably wouldn't be able to tell it wasn't stock.
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Old 01-08-2008, 07:13 PM   #21
jdubya301
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lennyTR View Post
For me it was too dark still. That's why I installed the clear piece in the cover.

If you had no idea that I had messed with the clock, you probably wouldn't be able to tell it wasn't stock.
yeah maybe its just the flash of the camera killin it
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Old 01-08-2008, 07:54 PM   #22
06BluePearlStI
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Well, i changed my clock to red saturday, picked up a huge sheet of roscolux red stage gel, and did all steps, EXCEPT the cutting of the tinted plexiglass b/c i don't have dremel. I have to agree with lennytr. It matches perfectly at night with the rest of my interior, but is very faded in broad daylight, unless u cut the outer piece.

I liked it at first but now it's starting to urk me....i might just pick up a red clock piece from interior flaire, so i can see it during the day. Same goes for the radio.
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Old 01-08-2008, 08:08 PM   #23
lennyTR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06BluePearlStI View Post
Well, i changed my clock to red saturday, picked up a huge sheet of roscolux red stage gel, and did all steps, EXCEPT the cutting of the tinted plexiglass b/c i don't have dremel. I have to agree with lennytr. It matches perfectly at night with the rest of my interior, but is very faded in broad daylight, unless u cut the outer piece.

I liked it at first but now it's starting to urk me....i might just pick up a red clock piece from interior flaire, so i can see it during the day. Same goes for the radio.
You still might consider cutting out that tinted plexiglass...it really wasn't too hard to cut it out, and you should go buy a dremel anyways because it's a great tool to own

It will make it brighter.
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Old 01-26-2008, 05:08 PM   #24
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Let's see some examples of the red clock.
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Old 02-23-2008, 01:04 PM   #25
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top for some red pics!
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